ORNT0R4L SPORT Munster eyes monster chance of Cup call-up
STORM five-eighth Cameron Munster is on the cusp of a World Cup call-up which could see him wear Johnathan Thurston’s No. 6 jersey for the Kangaroos.
Munster can secure a berth in Mal Meninga’s squad, to be announced on Tuesday, by starring in tonight’s NRL grand final against the Cowboys at ANZ Stadium.
The “Rockhampton Rocket” blew NSW away with one of the greatest ever Origin debuts in this year’s decider and now Kangaroos selectors are sizing him up for a green and gold jersey.
Munster, 23, has the advantage of playing alongside Maroons and Test trio Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk at the Storm which could see Melbourne’s playmaking spine transplanted into the Kangaroos set-up.
Kangaroos selector Darren Lockyer confirmed Munster was on the verge of a World Cup call-up.
“He is right in the mix for the World Cup,” Lockyer said.
“What Cam did in Origin III showed he is born for representative football and he is versatile as well, which makes him perfect for a World Cup squad.
“He is such a natural footballer that you can play him anywhere in the backline and at a pinch you can play him at hooker or the back row. He has proven to me that he is a biggame player.
“There’s always one or two new faces that come into the Australian team based on how deep their team goes in the finals. If the Storm win the grand final, he will be hard to overlook.”
Munster is jostling for the Kangaroos five-eighth duties with Cowboys halfback Michael Morgan, the star of this year’s finals series.
Morgan, 25, has already made seven Test appearances for the Kangaroos, mostly as a bench utility given his versatility, but has served his apprenticeship to be Thurston’s successor and started one game at five-eighth in last year’s Four Nations.
Sharks pivot James Maloney is also in the mix, however he had one of the NRL’s worst defensive records in 2017, missing five tackles per game and conceding the most penalties (34) in the league.
Munster, who made his Origin debut following injuries to Game One five-eighth Anthony Milford and Thurston, admitted a Kangaroos call-up would ice a memorable season.
“It would be a good little boost for the year I’ve had,” Munster said.
Munster’s selection at fiveeighth for Queensland allowed the Maroons to form an allMelbourne spine and saw Morgan start at centre in the decider. Meninga must decide whether that combination is the best one for the Kangaroos.
The Storm’s Cameron Munster is considered to be a hot prospect for the World Cup squad because of his strong performance in Origin III and his overall versatility but he needs to push his claims again in tonight’s NRL grand final